Land can be contaminated by things like:

  • heavy metals, such as arsenic, cadmium and lead
  • oils and tars
  • chemical substances and preparations, like solvents
  • gases
  • asbestos
  • radioactive substances

What counts as contaminated land

Land is legally defined as ‘contaminated land’ where substances are causing or could cause:

  • significant harm to people, property or protected species
  • significant pollution of surface waters (for example lakes and rivers) or groundwater
  • harm to people because of radioactivity

Part of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requires the council to identify contaminated land that is posing an unacceptable risk to human health or the wider environment and to find remedies.

Medway Council’s Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy sets out how contaminated land will be identified and how sites will be prioritised.

The prioritisation of sites will ensure that resources are concentrated on investigating areas where contaminated land is most likely to be found and allow the most pressing and serious problems to be located first. The strategy follows a prioritised approach, with human health as the highest priority.

Report contaminated land

Environmental searches

We can provide environmental information on sites within the Medway area. The council makes a standard charge of £174 (zero rated VAT) for the supply of environmental information.

Once we have received an application, the Kent Landfill Atlas will be used to assess whether there are any known landfill sites within 250 metres of the site in question. Reference will also be made to the public register of processes to establish whether any processes are in the vicinity of the site. Brief details of historic land-use and any known pollution incidents or environmental concerns can be provided.

Details will normally be supplied within 10 working days of receiving an order or payment. If you need more detailed information, please write to confirm your requirements. An estimate of the cost for providing additional information will be provided within 10 days of receiving an enquiry, together with an indication of the time within which the information can be supplied.

To apply for an environmental search

To apply for an environmental search please send us the following by post:

  • Cheque made payable to Medway Council for £174
  • The national grid reference 
  • a map of the site at 1:2500 or 1:1250 scale.

Post this to:

Medway Council
Gun Wharf
Dock Road, Chatham
Kent, ME4 4TR.

Our inspection strategy

Medway Council’s inspection strategy for contaminated land (as required by Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990) has been produced. The public register (as required by s.78R) currently contains no entries.

The strategy contains a timetable for detailed inspection which will allow the most serious and pressing problems to be located first.

No properties have been identified for detailed inspection at the present time.

Implementation of the Contaminated Land Strategy may result in some sites being identified as contaminated land as defined by the EPA 1990 (s. 78A(2)).

Where action to make the site suitable for use cannot be secured by agreement, a remediation notice may be served.

However, until the strategy is implemented, and individual sites inspected, a decision cannot be made on the service of notices.